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Sunday, 4 March 2012

Letter Home (Bee) - 4th March, 1917

15th Battery, RFA

4th March, 1917

Dear mother and dad,

We are going very hard at present, but all for a good cause. I expect you have seen by the papers sometime ago what the Hun is doing. I think it a good sign that the end is not far distant. We are pushing up some distance from this position, as he sent us back so far he got out of range.

It has been very foggy lately and we are having heavy frost again. I have seen a lot of the battlefield lately, which is not a pleasing sight. How the poor old infantry lived at all during the cold weather I can't understand. I did not think the human body could stand it, but, of course, some of the poor boys didn't. The Hun was a little better off than we as he had a few trenches.

Our old position is quite a health resort at present. We have horses on a line at it and you can walk about as if you were at home. The moving of vehicles is an awful job. I have been left behind at the old position to try to move the ammunition. There is 200 yards of mud to go through before you get to the solid road. Yesterday we started at eight thirty a.m. to get eight wagons out. We had 10 horses on each wagon. The last we got out at five p.m. in the afternoon. Of course, our drivers are no horsemen, which makes things worse. They are all right on the straight road but when it comes to using a bit of gumption they are beat. I had to mount the off wheel in every case, but one does not stand much chance in a team of 10. There is one big gun which has been struggling for two days and has only been moved 50 yards – and it has 10 heavy draughts on it. I would give any money for a team of bullocks at this present moment. They would be just the thing. The caterpillar motor tractors are no use even in this stuff but let's hope it is going to lead us on to fresh ground. We will make him hum.

I am afraid this is very short, but time these days is limited. Walford is back and looks well; in fact, we are both in good form, still taking three meals a day

Mum, I got post this week - a pair of socks, a balaclava, mittens and a book.

Best love to you all,

from your loving son,


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